‘No idea’: Tomic’s biggest win of 2019
BERNARD Tomic has toppled a top 50 player for the first time this year in a surprising response to his Wimbledon tanking fine being enforced just a few days ago.
The 26-year-old Aussie has moved through to the second round of the Atlanta Open after a gutsy, fightback win over World No.41 Frances Tiafoe.
Tomic's volatile, inexplicable form lines continue to baffle the tennis world.
His best win of the year came after his worst loss when he was eliminated from Wimbledon by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 58 minutes earlier this month in the second shortest men's singles match at the All England Club since records began in 2002.
He was fined the entirety of his Wimbledon prize purse - $81,000.
No one was expecting Tomic to come out firing in Atlanta on Wednesday morning - but finding new ways to drop jaws around Australia is what he does best.
Tomic has now set up a showdown with fellow Australian Matthew Ebden for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Tomic, ranked 106th in the world, defeated American fifth seed Tiafoe 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in one hour and 48 minutes.
He fired 20 aces before telling reporters he did not make any drastic changes to his game against the world No. 41 in their first-ever encounter.
"That's how I play; I always try to do something different," he said.
Tomic showed no emotion after the win or during his comeback from 4-0 down in the third set.
Nobody in the tennis world can seem to work him out.
The win improved his record for the year to six wins and 12 losses. It's just the second tournament - above the ATP Challenger Tour level - that he's won at since the French Open.
A win over Andreas Seppi, who was ranked No. 71 at the time, in April had been Tomic's highest ranked scalp of the year, before Tiafoe fell to him on Wednesday morning.
I just watched Gin & Tomic beat lighten up Frances 1st rd of ATL in 3rd set breaker, I have no idea 💡 how it happened— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) July 23, 2019
Frances Tiafoe has been on a real bad run of form since the spring but it was painful to watch him losing to Bernie Tomic today in Atlanta. Didn’t play with any confidence when he had chances to put it away.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 23, 2019
Australian third seed Alex de Minaur received a first-up bye and will play Bradley Klahn in the round of 16 on Thursday (AEST) while 19-year-old Alexei Popyrin will face French fourth seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert for a place in the quarter- finals.
Ebden, a 31-year-old journeyman ranked world No. 100, needed one hour and 33 minutes to advance.
Australian third seed Alex de Minaur received a first-up bye and will play Bradley Klahn in the round of 16 on Wednesday while 19-year-old Alexei Popyrin will face French fourth seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert for a place in the quarter- finals.
Others to advance to the last 16 on Tuesday included Briton Daniel Evans, Radu Albot, Soon-Woo Kwon and 211cm Reilly Opelka, who will face 208cm John Isner in a battle of the big-serving Americans.
Opelka holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over tournament top seed, Isner, the five-time champion in Atlanta.
"Coin flip" was how both Isner and Opelka have described their second-round match.
"Obviously I'm the underdog again playing him, and there's a good chance there are going to be a lot of tiebreaks," Opelka said.
Not “showing effort” much more than he did when Wimbledon docked all of his pay, Bernard Tomic beats #5 seed Frances Tiafoe in a third set tiebreak in Atlanta R1.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 23, 2019
That’s just how he tennises.